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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very similar to the "Why no one talks about Ebel" post, I was curious why no one mentions Ball watches. After looking at several "WRUW" and "All Your Watches in One Pic" posts (great watches, by the way), I don't see many Ball watches. They have several interesting watches (Engineer and M Challenger). Am I missing something (i.e., quality, finish, etc.) as to why it seems to fly under the radar?
 

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I'm going to have to contradict you there--the brand seems to pop up in many recommendation threads and I see quite a few pics of them. Maybe not as prominent as some others, but they definitely have their dedicated fanbase.

A recent example in which many praised a Ball was the moonphase thread
 
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While I may not say Ball is under the radar, I agree with the OP. I find myself wondering if there is something I don鈥檛 know about them that knocks their status down a tad. Like I think their Icebreaker looks and sounds top notch but I bet most would pick a North Flag over it every time.
 

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Ball doesn't have many outlets. Relatively small output and relatively small budget given how small their print catalogs are. So they probably aren't too far off given their size. They are pretty decent watches. Honestly the only thing I don't like about my Ball is the tritium tubes have lost a lot of their glow and it's not worth the trouble to get it back to them to get new tubes. Nor do I really want to try to ship tritium. Granted, it's a lot less than I used to have to deal with when I worked in research, but the amount of paperwork was a nightmare.
 

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I see a lot more talk about Ball watches than Ebel. They seem to be pointed out regularly as an example of innovation from a small brand, or as a general good value. I think a lot of what you might be seeing here is that Ball has its own dedicated subforum, so most of the talk about the brand gets siphoned off there. They're not big enough that they generate a ton of mentions outside of their subforum, but they are appreciated.

In my opinion it's impressive that Ball has gotten the recognition they have for such a small brand. They're so small that they have to share a building in Switzerland with another brand. Despite that, they've come up with a number of innovations, have developed a signature style that doesn't look like anything else, and have carved out a unique niche all their own.
 

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Very similar to the "Why no one talks about Ebel" post, I was curious why no one mentions Ball watches. After looking at several "WRUW" and "All Your Watches in One Pic" posts (great watches, by the way), I don't see many Ball watches. They have several interesting watches (Engineer and M Challenger). Am I missing something (i.e., quality, finish, etc.) as to why it seems to fly under the radar?
Did you check out the Ball Watch sub-forum under the 鈥淥fficial Forum鈥 section?

Plenty of talk about Ball Watches.
 

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Not everyone is going to choose Ball watches as their 1st, 2nd maybe even 3rd option for a > $1000 watch.
 

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Agree with Kev161. I like the watches, but regularly find something I like better or is more unique at the price point. But if I was giving a gift to a fireman . . .
 

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Not sure I understand the last two comments at all, but Ball offers a lot at their given price point, most often more than can what be had for the same price from other brands--Ball is often mentioned in the "best bang for the buck" threads. Tritium is something that some like, some don't and many simply don't really know what it is and often make assumptions that aren't compatible with the facts. Personally, I like the fact that they aren't on the beaten trail of watch brands--I like their exclusivity and their small company stature, with a lot to offer in their catalog for those open and clever enough to understand and respect them.
 

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There's a few brands that are "respected but not collected" and Ball is one of those.
Of course, this doesn't mean nobody buys them or owns them here, just that they're in a smaller minority than most.
Like someone above said, Ball is typically not a brand for a first, second or even third watch. Also:
  • Tritium tubes are not a point of attraction for a lot of people
  • The fancy counter-weight on the seconds hand of Ball watches is divisive
  • Corporate-wise, they are small fish not under one of the big conglomerates = doesn't help for exposure and distribution networks
  • Some people can't get past the name - "Ball", "Ball Skin Diver" etc etc
  • They are some of the worst value retainers in all of watchdom. Not unusual to see 40-60% markdowns (sales , grey market etc) and this has to damage the perception that they are desirable watches (yeah, yeah - "buy what you like" is fine but don't ignore this point either).
 

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I own a number of Ball Watch Co. pieces. They are nice watches, but the last time that I was avidly reading about them and acquiring them a few years ago, my perceptions were:

New Ball watches are fairly expensive, and the resale value on them was low.

Unlike conventional lume, which can be re-lumed by many competent watchmakers , tritium tubes are regulated and therefore expensive to have competently replaced and have legally disposed of. Essentially, Ball watches would have to go back to Ball. I once contacted Ball, as they are about 150 miles north of me. They hemmed and hawed about the cost, and therefore the feasibility of replacing dead tubes. Not an endorsement of their watches becoming heirlooms.

At the time, Ball would not transfer warranties to second owners. Hence, if a tube goes bad or breaks loose and is rattling around your dial, and you aren't the first owner, you're SOL. You can't send it off to someone for re-lume.

Many of the Ball watches bought and sold are gray market, or off-shores sellers. Ball USA, at the time, would not honor warranties or even repair a watch that they did not import.

Personally, I've been careful to buy only Ball watches with conventional screw down crowns because their crown-locking mechanism is a real pocket snagger when reaching for a phone or a pocket piece.

If these situations have changed, someone can correct me. I'm always happy to learn.
 

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Very similar to the "Why no one talks about Ebel" post, I was curious why no one mentions Ball watches. After looking at several "WRUW" and "All Your Watches in One Pic" posts (great watches, by the way), I don't see many Ball watches. They have several interesting watches (Engineer and M Challenger). Am I missing something (i.e., quality, finish, etc.) as to why it seems to fly under the radar?
I recall several threads about Ball watches. Try searching.
 

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Ball is it's own worst enemy, IMHO.

Allowing the grey market to be flooded with old stock and discontinued models hurts their standing.

They should also focus on a more stable product line. Way too many variations of models, and way too often.

But, I do like some of their models. I own a Engineer M Marvelight that is outstanding, and a Fireman Enterprise that I bought from Joma for $499 this year.

I wish Jeff Hess was still involved, but I digress.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Always love the feedback here...that's why I asked. Obviously, the subforum is focused on the specific brand with a lot of brand fans. But, the public forum is where the action is with candid feelings. I'm considering two. I will do more research but here they are...Armor and M Challenger
15542775
15542776
 

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Love that there are no live pics of Ball watches, even in a ball watch thread basically pleading for more!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Not sure I understand the last two comments at all, but Ball offers a lot at their given price point, most often more than can what be had for the same price from other brands--Ball is often mentioned in the "best bang for the buck" threads. Tritium is something that some like, some don't and many simply don't really know what it is and often make assumptions that aren't compatible with the facts. Personally, I like the fact that they aren't on the beaten trail of watch brands--I like their exclusivity and their small company stature, with a lot to offer in their catalog for those open and clever enough to understand and respect them.
What I meant was that at the price point of over a $1000 there are other watches further up my "list" before going for a Ball.
Here is one that I like for example:
15542783


If I had that amount saved up for a new watch, I would put the little extra to get this one first and then the Ball further down the road after some other pieces.
15542797


It's just personal preference.
 

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Love that there are no live pics of Ball watches, even in a ball watch thread basically pleading for more!


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Live pics? You mean like people's actual wrist shots?
Heres a few.

15542804
15542806
15542807
 
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